The call of the moutains was too strong to resist this weekend. With only two events to skip out on . . . one volleyball game we were sure to lose and one gymnastics practice, we packed the car, slapped the skis on top and took off. It was glorious. Just outside the city, it happened again . . . I could BREATHE. Actually breathe. Deeply. Deep, full, glorious breaths of sub-zero lung-cleansing mountain air. I can't say "mountain air" without singing it like the Travelocity commercial. It was wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. The mountain air. Not the singing.
Friday night, we met an old nursing school friend of mine for dinner. Their cute little family of three had dinner with our party of six. Her hubby looked a tad bit overwhelmed when we blew in and exploded into an otherwise quite corner of a quaint little mountain brewery. C'est la'vie, no? In those situations, I've learned to shrug it off. We need an extra chair for our gear. The poor chair winds up buried beneath hats and gloves and jackets. It looks like a closet barfed next to us and we almost always end up one mitten short of a covered-dozen paws, so someone's crawling under the table hunting for mittens but discovering petrified noodles & broken crayons prior to our departure.
We stayed at our favorite haunt. I've got weekend-mountain grocery shopping down to a science, and can almost get it done while MOTH circles the lot. This trip, the kids were pleasantly surprised at the invite from Auntie K (my kids have TWO honorary Auntie K's . . it's very confusing . . . but with no sisters, we'll take what we can get) . . . to return to their condo for make-up & movies while MOTH, Mimi and I hit the grocery store. Blissful.
Saturday MOTH skied with the big kids. Mimi and I met Auntie K in the village for a little shopping. Sidenote: Auntie K is THE most fabulously dressed and fashion conscious friend I have. She has been that way since we met, um, er . . . in 1995, was it? Sheesh, I don't know. I just know she came into class looking like a zillion bucks every day. In my shredding college sweatshirt and dirty ball cap, I just tried not to sit next to her. She shoved me into a cute little boutique, stripped my jacket, held my purse & entertained Mimi while handing me pairs of high fashion jeans through a very sheer dressing room. Ugh. I hate jean shopping. See previous posts on jeans shopping (in no particular order):
Suffice it to say that in THIS session, I was thankful to be on a time schedule. She hollered into the dressing room, "How's it going?" I came out looking more disheveled that normal, back in my ski pants and boots, and suppressing a mild panicky feeling to flee the trendy boutique. She said, "Did you try them on?" And I had to admit, "Yes, ONE Of my legs tried them on. The other leg quit early." "How about this pair?", she pressed. "My ass doesn't fit in those," I said. "At all?" she seemed surprised and told me I just needed longer tops. And she said, I needed to do "frequent hip wiggling pull-ups". Really? Longer tops? No, that can NOT be the fix. I won't pay $98 for designer jeans which require extensive and advanced yoga poses just to get them ON . . . then have to buy longer tops and do frequent vigorous pull-ups in order to keep them on my butt. No can do, honey. No. Can. Do.
Happily, I was able to flee the boutique and meet MOTH and the kids for lunch. Happily. A second sidenote. I love boutique shopping. I do. I like bracelets. End of story.
Big's big brown eyes were still red rimmed from a morning meltdown at lunchtime. Her cheeks were tear stained and she looked exhausted, so I extended an invitation to abort the skiing mission for the afternoon. She enthusiastically accepted. Sidenote number 3: an admission. Skiing is super fun. It's a great family activity. BUT, when you are the parent that stays "down the mountain" and your primary mission is to entertain the too-young-to-ski crowd & make attempts not to buy half of the town, it's not that fun. It's mind-numbing, actually. After a long day of not-skiing, I'm grumpy as hell and feel like my brains are oozing out of my ears. Aside from organ donation, it's at the very top of my list of Selfless Feats of Parenting. I know it's the RIGHT thing to do. I know I CAN do it. But it SUCKS. Plain and simple.
On previous ski trips, I've felt obligated to stay close to ski-school. With MOTH skiing black diamonds in the upper bowls and kids in ski school, I was tethered to my cell signal awaiting the injury call or some sort of tragedy. This trip, with MOTH in charge of Middle and Little all afternoon, I broke stride. Big time.
Can you see that? Maybe not. It's not the best resolution, since it was taken from my cell phone as I was turned backward, with Mimi in one arm and hanging off the back of a sled pulled by a snow machine. Still, know this: That's Big back there, driving the dogsled. Yes, I took Big and Mimi dog sledding. Through the rugged mountain outback. It was so stinkin' fun. Big is an awesome dogsled driver. She banks hard & mushes like a champ. I think she's ready for the Iditarod.
Mimi wouldn't (a) let me take her picture OR (b) get off my lap long enough to let me drive the sled, but it was still FUN, FUN, FUN!! I highly recommend.
We ended our afternoon with a gondola ride and a very zippy ride down the Alpine Coaster. Mimi rode with me and said over and over, "it's not scary, it's not scary, it's not scary." She chanted "it's not scary" all the way UP to the top. When we pressed forward for the downward part, she kept up the chant. It wasn't until the end of the second corkscrew and we were pulling into the slow-zone that she finally said, "is it done yet?"
Well . . . is there more?
Maybe? I went shopping. Bought cute bracelets (see, back inside my comfort zone) for Big & Middle. Also sat on the fence for a long time about an Alpine shirt for me. Ended up going home without it. But, MOTH took me back just this morning. In a blur of "try it on", "is this the color you like best" and the sound of the credit card machine running, MOTH made it mine. He hugged me and said, "Happy Valentine's Day!" all in the same breath. Now, I'm the proud owner of a brand new North Face jacket. The FIRST winter jacket I've had in my whole life with MOTH. I've been wearing his boxy man jackets for so long, it's become normal. But I positively love the feminine color and cut of my new summit series jacket. I love it.
And we're home. It's 68 degrees. Go figure. Now, it's too warm for me to wear my new jacket!!